On our journey for full-time, We want to upgrade our "RIG" (Don't tell Jaclynn about rig's to her it's a camper") to a 5th wheel from our 38 ft travel trailer.
With this we needed a much larger tow vehicle which we purchased a few weeks back. We bought a 2009 F-450. Great truck! I have been working through the details of getting the truck up to a level that I expect. We purchased the truck and I really haven't had a lot of time to go through it. Well over Labor Day, I found sometime to start working through the truck and all the details.
First came the tires, I get my gauge out and notice all the tires are very low for the heavy duty tires on the truck. So I hook up my viair pump and start the filling process -- after about 20 minutes on one tire I was going to be at this for hours.
I loaded up my wife and off to the truck stop we went. Truck stops are awesome for this as they have compressors to get the air that you need and they are very quick to fill up any tire.
We get to our favorite Love's and roll into a pump and I start filling all of the tires, most of
the tires were around 65-70 psi and I wanted them at 90 psi. I get all of them aired up but the rear inside passenger tire, and this is where the story starts.
I checked the tire pressure and its really low about 15-20 PSI. Again this truck is new to me so this is part of the process of getting it up to my level. I started to fill the tire. Pump it up, check it 40 PSI. Fill it up some more, check it 60 PSI, fill it and and then all of sudden a bomb went off. Well that is what sounded like and felt like. There I am standing stunned and not sure what happened and I can't hear from the deaf'ing boom like something you would hear in a war movie when a bomb or large gun fires. Everything is in a bit of a daze, my ears are ringing everything is in slow motion. The next thing the trucker behind me comes over to check on me and my wife is out of the truck looking to figure out what just happened. I finally come out of my daze, remind you this all happened in seconds and minutes. I have never been taking off guard or off my feet like this. It is a reminder that things in life happen very quickly.
We will get into more into the specifics of what happens and the details towards the end of the blog.
This is where the sad moment starts, The force of the explosion tore half of my fender out and cracked it, I was amazed the damage this caused, this also tore about a 5 inch tear in the tire. The force of the tire blew air up into the fender well and blowing off half of the fender on the truck. I inspected the rest of the undercarriage and all looked fine. As we were at a truck stop they had a tire repair barn, so we take our poor broken truck over to the repair barn. The nice folks at Love's were able to get us in to swap out the tire for us as I didn't have the tools on the truck to swap out the tire and to be honest after the explosion I didn't want to be anywhere around it. We waited for about an hour and we rolled the truck into the tire bay, We went and sat in the waiting room. The tire folks couldn't get the spare down due to it needing a special keyed lock to lower the tire. After tearing the entire truck apart, we weren't able to find the key to lower the spare down. Along with that our friends at Love's did not have a tire that would fit my truck.
The nice manager at Love's called another tire place that was just across the highway had a tire for us and off we went. Love's didn't charge us for their time and were super helpful.
We headed over to Miguel's Tire Shop and they were awesome as well. He was able to get us on our way in about 30 minutes. They were very nice and gave us some advice on the spare key issue that we were having so we can get access to our spare in the future.
So what happened, obviously the tire exploded. From looking at the tire and talking with the tire guys and a lesson learned from me. What everyone believe that happened as the tire was low it could of built a soft spot in the side wall of the tire and when we put the pressure on the tire it pushed on that soft spot and caused it to explode. I asked them if there was anyway that I could of spotted this issue in the future. The experts said from a visual perspective they said there really isn't anything you could do overall.
I am very lucky that I didn't have my head down around the tire when I was inflating it.
If you have a flat tire or a very low tire, let the professionals pull the tire and take a look at it first before inflating it or putting a load on it. It is a good reminder that maintaining your equipment is very, when getting into the weights and pressures we work with to keep everyone safe.
Also make sure that you have all the pieces to fix a flat on the road. I would recommend actually taking the tire all the way off, and taking down your spare so you know how all of this works before hitting the road.